The first Fun Drive
The first Fun Drive was held on March 28, 1986. Seven day drives, 26 overnighters, one Abu Dhabi day drive and three Friday fun drives have been held so far. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

What is it?

The 38th Gulf News Overnighter Fun Drive supported by Al Futtaim Motors – Toyota, is all set to give you an exciting Liwa Experience again. The Fun Drive will start at Al Fathiya on the Hameem Road and participants will depart after breakfast on the drive through thrilling and challenging desert sections. The drive will end at the camp at the foot of the spectacular Moreeb Dune, where they will stay overnight.

The original idea behind the Fun Drive was to give people the chance to experience the desert. Unlike today, there were more unknowns off-road in the UAE, and very few people dared to venture.

How much does it cost?

Entry fee, inclusive of VAT, is Dh500 for adults and Dh210 for children under 12. Those under the age of four get free entry.

Where is it located?

It takes place in the Liwa Desert but will kick off at Al Fathiya on the Hameem Road.

What is included in the Fun Drive package?

Breakfast, lunch, dinner and an overnight stay. Amenities at the camp include community tents, portaloos, showers and food and beverage counters. Entertainment programmes which have been lined up include camel rides, circus shows, a magic show, DJ and live band and belly dance performances. Overnight stay will be followed by breakfast which will be served between 7 and 9am.

What is the timeline of the overnighter?

Participants will check in from 7am onwards to collect their notes, food vouchers and goodies. They will then proceed to the breakfast area for a variety of eats, after which they will collect their goodies, line up and depart.

Flag off will be at 9am

Off roading time!

The first cars should reach the camp at around 4pm

After the overnight halt at the camp, participants will drive home the next day after breakfast, in their own time. No off road driving on Day 2.

Important notes

The 2017 Fun Drive is a long distance “endurance” event and the following must be noted:

Participation is not recommended for children under 6 and the very elderly

Every passenger must have a seatbelt.

Because of the terrain involved there will be challenging sand and gravel sections.

Participants will have the option to abandon the drive at any checkpoint and continue over tarmac to the camp.

Participation will be limited to Driver + maximum of four (provided there are seatbelts per passenger)

To explain the route requires many GPS waypoints. Therefore we will give priority to applicants who have GPS in their cars


A ‘strolling’ breakfast will be served at Al Fathiya (food stalls with hot & cold food)

A snack lunch box per participant will also be given out as participants depart.

There will be an elaborate dinner menu at the camp, catering to all palates

Breakfast will be served from 7am to 9 am at the camp on Saturday


All basic amenities including, water, toilets and showers will be available at the camp.

There will also be tents set up at the camp which can be occupied on a first-come-first-serve basis. There is plenty of room available for camping if you wish to bring your own equipment. Tents at the camp cannot be reserved beforehand and it is not possible to provide one tent per participating vehicle.

There will be non-stop live entertainment from 5 pm onwards until late night as there is no drive the next day.

What to do when checking in?

You will need to check in at the desk allocated for your Fun Drive number.

No disclaimer check here

At the check in desk, for verification purposes, please show the original ID that you provided at registration (Emirates ID or Driving Licence).

Once verification is complete you will be handed over your Route Notes pack and the envelope containing food, goody bag, water and snack box vouchers.

Please check the vouchers and then proceed to breakfast and departure.

Please bring an emirates ID or driving license with you


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